3 Reasons Why Translation Memory Is Indispensable

When translating, you will never have to think outside the box if assisted by translation memory, because the ‘outside’ of the box thinks instead of you.
translation memory

If you’ve ever used or seen a CAT tool, like Catapult,  you know it almost literally looks like that.

Every human translator needs some time to finish a translation project – and is limited to work on only one project at a time.

This doesn’t mean that you’re not a capable and superior translator but only that you’re a human – CAPTCHA-less verified.

But how to overcome those drawbacks of a human translator in order to run a successful international company which would be far ahead of its competition?

By finding yourself or your translator some help or something that isn’t a human…

…something like a CAT tool with translation memory (TM) in the back-end.

But what exactly is translation memory?

The raw definition would state that it is an infinitely expanding linguistic database of text segments, incorporated into a CAT tool, where saved units (text segments) present a broad range of everything from words and sentences to whole paragraphs. We’re not talking about the solo text fragments, but actual pairs of source and target text, which can be reused anytime during the translation process.

To understand how it benefits you, you first have to understand how it works.

How does translation memory work?

how does translation memory work

The UI won’t actually enable you to see the ingenious process, happening behind the computer screen. But we can help you understand the fundamental principles without you being an IT master – by putting you in the role of the CAT, whereas your memory will serve as the translation memory.

Visualise your whole text as a string of beads where every word and punctuation has a unique shape and you know what every shape stands for. Like reading braille.

First, we blindfold you and teach you how every single ever existing or made-up word is ‘shaped’.

Then we ask you to glide from the very beginning to the end of the string, where you should identify as many paradigms as possible – you encounter how two words, three, four… words feel like if they are next to each other.

The more repetitions of gliding you make, the more you get familiar with the patterns. You start to observe that some larger segments, sentences or paragraphs give you the same overall feeling – so they must convey the same or similar text.

You name one type of a paradigm with index A, another one as B… and sovereignly replace the whole repetitive segment with ‘A’, ‘B’… – because in life you spare yourself time and nerves wherever you can. And time is money after all.

Other unique patterns will not be replaced by any index unless you’ve glided anytime before over an exact same paradigm and you recall the text within it.

The only thing you have to do is to remember what ‘A’ and ‘B’ mean in the source text string.

Now you want to share the meaning of those segments to the global community, but you are fluent only in the source language, so you hire yourself maybe 39 translators, who would teach you what segment ‘A’ means in 39 languages. You can remember ALL the meanings and use them anytime later – without confusing or forgetting words.

The best thing is you’ll only need a translator once for every memorized segment, because why would he teach you two times – you save translator’s time and lower your expenses.

But some other segments are still very similar like A, but not exactly the same as 100% A, so you called them ‘98% A’ – because you’ll humbly let a translator deal with the missing 2%. You could say you did an approximate string matching.

A translator also tells you what other unique patterns stand for. You’ll remember all of them simultaneously for further usage. In the end, your mental database is filled with pairs of an index and its belonging meanings.

Feel tired already by just imagining the whole process? To have the capacity to handle information and the mental speed to operate like that.

Because CAT tool combined with translation memory can do all of that (except for the ‘translator’ part – he’s essential).

The advantages of utilising it are already obvious, but let me clarify how the Catapult tool can be beneficial for you.

#1 Time- and money-saving algorithm

The more text you trust us with as a client, the more we can take out for you – it’s an investment with satisfactory ROI values – read here how you could save €18.6 million in the volume of 500+ million words. Because translators don’t have to translate a certain segment twice and are, in general, faster and more productive, they will spend less time (according to this research by 86%) on your project – for what we grant you an A.I. discount. Thus, our translators are more productive and have less editing to make.

save money by using translation memory

#2 Eat, sleep, translate - repeat? Avoid repetition.

translation memory saves time

When working for one company several times, certain words, phrases or paragraphs start to repeat within or between texts. By CAT examination, TM can detect the repetition of certain text segments (as described above) regarding the previously translated texts or current translation project. UI will retrieve the matching target text and then a translator just has to confirm it afterwards. This is especially useful for generic texts and technical documentation.

#3 Higher quality and consistency of translations

The more text you upload to our translation app, the more your personal translation memory expands and gets personalised, implying it adjusts itself to your text profiles. If certain segments don’t have to be translated again from scratch several times, we can maintain a coherent style of your translations and a consistent multilingual appearance of your brand through the workflow.

Were you thinking about transforming your brand into multilingual but want to stick to your budget and get translations fast? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!